November 25, 2008
What’s In Your Basket?
Easter Egg Radishes
It is truly a time of Thanksgiving! I have been praying for the frosts to hold off until after the Thanksgiving harvest. Last week we had a bit of frost which nipped the zucchini, pumpkins and green beans, but not enough to put a few in our baskets this week. I love this time of year!
This week’s recipes come from Bob Howald of Valley Cheese and Wine. For those of you who ordered heirloom turkeys, you will probably want to brine your birds the night before to give them some extra moisture. (Remember that they have not been pumped full of additives.) They will cook faster, so keep a thermometer in them to watch the internal temperature. Bob recommends taking your turkey out of the oven when they read 145 degrees. Cover them and they will continue to cook to 160 degrees. This will help to keep them from becoming too dry. This brine recipe will work well with pork as well.
I am grateful that we had a sweet potato harvest this year. It was looking pretty sketchy this summer. I was so excited when I went to peek under the vines and found some huge potatoes! Some of the sweet potatoes in your basket may be funky looking, but they are tasty none the less. Bob’s sweet potato recipe is delicious! Bob always has something fun cooking in the back of his store. He just happened to have a taste of this dish ready when I came in. You’ll love it!
I hope this holiday season finds you all healthy and happy. Wishing you wonderful weekend filled with great food and great company!
Until next Tuesday,
Picture of the week:
4 C. water 2 T. fennel seed
¼ C. maple syrup 2 T. thyme
½ C. brown sugar 3 bay leaves
¾ C. kosher salt 10 whole cloves
2 T. black pepper 1 T. allspice
2 T. white pepper 2 cinnamon sticks
1 gallon liquid ( ½ water, ½ apple cider)
Boil spices in water to release the flavors. Cool down with 1 gallon of water/ cider mix. Brine turkey overnight.
Maple Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
6 pounds sweet potatoes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 T. pure maple syrup
2 T. light brown sugar
3 T. bourbon, can use vanilla extract
8 T. butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. white pepper
Pecan Crumb Topping, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until very soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel them by hand and put the flesh in the bowl of a mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix in the lemon zest and juice, maple syrup and brown sugar.
Place the bourbon in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Let it come just to the boil and then tilt the pan slightly towards you to set it aflame*. Add to the potatoes along with the butter. Mix well. Add salt and pepper and transfer to a 13 by 9-inch oven-safe casserole dish. (Recipe can be made to this point up to 2 days before, refrigerated.) Sprinkle topping over potatoes and bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Alternatively, you may simply sprinkle the top of the casserole with a little bit of brown sugar and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.